‘Noisy’ Icebergs Could Mask Whale Calls

Scientists have determined that the sound of icebergs breaking up causes a lot of noise in the ocean. This is a big problem for whales and cetaceans who use sounds to survive. Scientists know that commercial traffic and storms in the North Atlantic cause a lot of noise, but they couldn’t figure out what was causing the noise by Antarctica. They discovered the cause when an iceberg known as the C19, that was about the size of Rhode Island, broke off Antarctica. They detected the decibels in the ocean and how it would travel for thousands of miles, throughout the ocean. Basically, during the winter months, the ice would hold without melting and that would be the period when the ocean goes silent. Then when temperatures rice and the ice sheets melt, the ocean becomes noisy again. Global warming is causing this to happen more frequently and scientists are worried. Scientists agree that in a louder ocean it would be harder for dolphins, whales or porpoises to hear each others calls, locate prey or to even navigate. Other fishes can be affected, such as the larval fish who uses sound to navigate to coral reefs and if it becomes louder, it would be harder for them to do so.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=noisy-icebergs-could-mask-whale-calls

– Sean Sabogal –

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